17 Aug Elliott Johnson – Conservative Party release summary of bullying report
The Conservative Party have released a summary of a report into allegations of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour following the death of Conservative activist Elliott Johnson in September 2015.
An inquest earlier this year a Coroner ruled that Elliott had committed suicide. He left notes to his parents, to his friends and to his “bullies and betrayers”, naming Mark Clarke.
The Conservative Party instructed law firm Clifford Chance to investigate the allegations of bullying by Mark Clarke and have today released a summary of that report.
The party deny any wrongdoing although have told the family they are putting a new ‘Code of Practice for Volunteer Leaders’ and establishing a clear complaints procedure for volunteers.
Elliott’s father, Ray Johnson, said:
“We haven’t had a chance to read through the findings and make a complete assessment of them. Unfortunately the Conservative Party gave us the summary at the same time as making it public and so as a family we are still processing it all. We expected a whitewash and I believe that’s what we’re going to get. The party has recognised there are failings but they are also saying they’ve done nothing wrong. We decided not to take part in the Clifford Chance inquiry due to concerns that Tory HQ would be pulling the strings from behind the scenes.”
The family’s solicitor Jane Deighton said:
“We are asking for a copy of the full report and evidence and hope that the Conservative Party will commit to transparency and accountability to the family and not hide behind a summary provided by their solicitors.”
A copy of the summary can be found here.
Ray and Alison Johnson, the parents of Elliott Johnson, are represented by Jane Deighton and Joanna Fleck of Deighton Pierce Glynn and counsel Heather Williams QC and Sam Jacobs of Doughty Street Chambers.